Is drug impaired driving treated the same as alcohol impaired driving?

Drug Impaired Driving

The recent release of the McClelland task force report on marijuana legalization in Canada has raised some serious concerns for public safety; in particular drug impaired driving . Drug-impaired driving is a major concern as the legalization of the substance becomes a reality in our country and, moving forward, there is a lot to be done to ensure the safety of drivers on the road In November, a CAA poll found 63 per cent of Canadians worry that road safety will decline when marijuana is legalized.

Public Education Needed for Drug Impaired Driving

Currently, Ontario drivers impaired by drug use face fines of up to $180 and a licence suspension for the first occurrence. These new laws were implemented in October to give police more leverage to get impaired drivers off the roads immediately. This is a sound start and sends a strong message, but, to ensure the safety of Ontario drivers, there needs to be a drastic increase public education and improvement in the available tools that police have to detect impairment.

Marijuana is not easy to detect using a simple breathalyzer test. To detect THC, urine tests, which are often unreliable, or invasive blood tests remain the only available tools. To complicate the issue, Canada has not established a legal limit of THC content in drivers.

Last year, police in Canada charged only 1,575 people with drug-impaired driving, compared to 50,853 for suspected drinking and driving.  *(statistics Canada)

According to a study conducted by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, marijuana impairs the cognitive and motor abilities necessary to operate a motor vehicle and doubles the risk of crash involvement, placing everyone else on the road at risk of serious injury or death.

If you have been injured by a drug-impaired driver, your claim for compensation may include:

* Income Replacement Benefits

* Non-Earner Benefits

* Caregiver Benefits

* Housekeeping and Home Maintenance Benefits

* Attendant Care Benefits

* Medical and Rehabilitation Benefits


Drinking and driving don’t mix. Drugs and driving don’t mix. PERIOD. 


What are the height and weight limits for child and infant car seats ?

Personal Injury Lawyer Ottawa David Hollingsworth….It seems like yesterday,  but 11 years ago I sat at the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus with our first-born and prepared to drive him home.  I was almost as nervous for this drive home as I was the delivery. Like any first time parent , I kept thinking …Is this seat safely installed? Did I do it right?  I read up online and even called a friend who was a fire fighter to walk me through it…Then, as time went on, a second and third child came and we were constantly juggling various car seats, booster seats, rear-facing this, forward-facing that, watching their weight and wondering when it was time to move onto the next…If any of this sounds familiar or if you are about to enter these years, I would like to share with you what I know when it comes to car seats…

Shoulder Straps:

When an infant is in a rear-facing car seat it’s important that the top of the shoulder straps are below or at the baby’s shoulders. It’s important that the straps are in the proper place as to properly secure the infant.

The “bucket seat”:

In almost every case, an infant is safest in a rear-facing car seat. It’s best to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. There are even some rear facing car seats that allow a child to be rear facing up to 45 pounds. Consider this when purchasing your car seat.  It is significantly safer to keep children in rear-facing car seats.


It’s important to make sure the harness of any child car seat, especially infant car seats is properly secured. Once your infant is secure in their car seat, test to make sure it is tight enough to your child’s shoulders. You should only be able to fit one finger between the car seat harness and your child’s collarbone. If there is more room, your harness straps are too loose and need to be tightened.

Where the buckle should be positioned:

The buckle that clips over the infants chest should be between the nipples and your infant’s armpits. It’s important that this buckle is not too high or low. If the buckle is out of place, your infant could in fact fly out of the car seat on impact.

Changes in weight and height:

It’s important to keep an eye on your child’s weight and height when it comes to having them in the proper car seat. As soon as they have reached a weight or height limit, it’s imperative you move them to the next level of child car seat. For rear-facing car seats, this means when there is less than an inch of the hard shell left at the top of the seat above your child’s head. As for weight limitations in children’s car seats, they do vary a bit and I would advise you to check with the manufacturer model to be certain and follow these guidelines to a tee.

Remove thick outer wear:

You would be surprised by how much space an infant or child coat takes up.  It’s always safest to remove your child’s coat before strapping them in.  This allows for the straps to be as secure as possible , avoiding any gaps that may potentially arise from outer wear.

Get informed:

If you are not feeling confident and still have some doubts about whether or not you are using the right car seat , it’s best you seek answers.  There are many, many valuable resources such as Transport Canada 

Parachute Canada

or call  1-866-SEAT-CHECK

A little bit or research and a little bit of time could save your child’s life. Drive safely and hug your loved ones.

Since 1999, David Hollingsworth and his Ottawa personal injury lawyer team have been  helping people who have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident in Ontario. We devote ourselves to safety and helping people through some of the most difficult days. For more information, please visit us at or call (613) 978-9549   or   (613) 237-4922 ext.203 . Email us any question at   -We understand, we care and we’re here to help and our track record proves it.

Why do child car seats have an expiry date and is it safe to still use them ?

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth.  In Canada, all car seat manufacturers provide an expiry date on all car seats.  Why? For safety !

There are also reasons such as…

  • sunlight: yes, sun exposure can damage or weaken the plastic found in car seats; and
  • safety regulations and standards change over time and products improve over time.

The provincial and territorial laws state that children’s car seats and booster seats  must be certified to Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and must be used properly according to the instructions given by the manufacturer. If you don’t follow the instructions or if you use them past their expiry or useful life dates, there is exposure to putting a child at risk and you may be found guilty of breaking the law.

You may be tempted to buy a car seat second hand.  Our Ottawa injury lawyers do not recommend you buy a used car seat unless you can get a guarantee that it hasn’t been in an accident (which could be impossible), has not been recalled (check with the manufacturer or Transport Canada – 1-800-333-0371) and that it isn’t expired; Transport Canada also provides a list of manufacturers of car seats and booster seats sold in Canada which includes the expiry/life date.

The following are the weight guidelines for child car seats in Ontario:

Infants: Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act states that children must rear-facing car seats until the child weighs at least 9 kg (20 lb.). It’s important to note that this is a minimum requirement. Some rear-facing car seats are made for children that weigh up to 20 kg (45 lb.).

Toddlers: Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act states that children use a forward-facing child car seat once  they weight from 9 kg to 18 kg (20 to 40 lb.). Again, this is a minimum requirement. Some forward-facing car seats are made for children that weigh up to 30 kg (65 lb.).

Pre-School and up to 8 years old: Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act states that children use a booster seat once they weigh 18 kg to 36 kg (40-80 lb.), are less than 145 cm (4 feet 9 inches) tall, and are under the age of 8. Again, this is a minimum requirement.

Youth: Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act states that children can use a seat belt when one of the following conditions is met:

  • Child turns 8 years old, or
  • Child weighs 36 kg (80 lb.), or
  • Child is 145 cm (4´ 9˝) tall or more

It’s important that  the shoulder strap is positioned across a youth’s shoulder and in the middle of the chest and the lap belt crosses the hips and not the stomach.

Child car seat requirements are the law and more importantly are there for safety.  If you are unsure of what car seat your child should be in or if your car seat is installed correctly, there are a number of resources in the Ottawa area to help you such as Service Ontario at 1(800) 268-4686. Please make sure your child is safe.

-We understand, we care and we’re here to help: Ottawa personal injury lawyers since 1999.

Ottawa Police seeking information regarding Ottawa pedestrian accident Walkley and Baycrest in the Heron Gate area.

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth

Ottawa’s CFRA radio station reported an Ottawa accident this morning involving a 21-year-old male, who remains in serious condition in an Ottawa hospital. The male was hit by a car in  the area of  Heron Gate area.  Ottawa Paramedics reported that the male  hit the windshield of the car and was thrown close to  20 feet into the intersection of  Walkley  and Baycrest road. He was rushed to a nearby Ottawa hospital and Ottawa Police are investigating the accident.  If you have any information, you are asked to please contact the Ottawa Police at (613) 236-1222. We strongly encourage all Ottawa residents to help our local police. It could be your accident someday and you would want others to help if possible.

If you would like more information related  to driving safety, insurance, accidents  or personal injury law Ontario, please visit our website at  Not all injuries lead to a law suit.  It is important that you be informed and know your rights. There are certain accident benefits that injured people may be entitled to and other benefits you may not be entitled to depending on the extent of your injuries, your insurance company, optional benefits, and many, many other factors. Our lawyers are available to sit down with you and explain to you what your options are and whether or not you have a case . It’s best you get informed first.  Hopefully your injuries fully heal and you recover quickly; however, in the event that they do not, it’s important you approach your new situation correctly.  Throughout the years, we have built an incredible personal injury team who share a common interest in helping people .  Email us at with any  questions you may have and we will provide you with free legal advice. We understand, we care and we’re here to help..and our track record proves it.

Ottawa injury lawyer cautioning on dehumidifier recalls.

Ottawa Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth.

It’s that time of year for us. Inevitably, one  of our 3 children starts coughing and sniffling and a cold starts that seems to pass through the house.  We dug out the humidifier last night and sure enough things seem better this morning.  I was looking online at various humidifiers and came across this recall.  I thought I would share as it was timely for us and may be for you as well.

Recall on Dehumidifiers : Danby, Fellini, Frigidaire, Gree and Premiere humidifiers are recalling  among Health Canada, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission and Gree units due to overheating.  Health Canada stated that the humidifiers may smoke, overheat, light a fire and burn. So far, Gree Electric Appliances has had a reported 165 incidents of dehumidifiers overheating, smoking, or catching fire in the US.  In Canada, Health Canada, Gree Electric Appliances, Danby, Sunrise and Frigidaire have to date no reported cases. In total, there are about 52,546  dehumidifiers out there that were sold in Canada by Danby, Sunrise and Frigidaire that are being recalled. Most dehumidifiers were sold between August 2008 and August 2013 in Canada. Health Canada is advising anyone who purchased these humidifiers to contact  Stericycle, at 1-866-853-2802 for a refund.

Inevitably you will likely need a humidifier or dehumidifer in the months to come. Might as well check them now…

Product recalls not only involve cars and appliances.  As much as possible our personal injury lawyer Ottawa blog tries to post recall information on product recalls, faulty products and toy recalls.  If you know of a product recall and would like to share it with our readers, please send along the information to our Ottawa lawyers and we would be happy to share.  It is our goal to keep our Ottawa community as safe as possible. Let’s work together.




Ottawa Injury Lawyer : Ottawa cycling accident Innes road and Belcourt sends male to Ottawa hospital with serious injuries.

Ottawa Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Yesterday we reported of an Ottawa cyclists being struck and sadly last night another Ottawa cyclist was struck close to Innes Road and Belcourt Boulevard at approximately 9:45 p.m. The male cyclist was rushed to an Ottawa hospital with serious personal injuries but thankfully Ottawa Police reported that the injuries were not life threatening. I wish him a full and hopefully not lengthy recovery.

I know that it’s summer and there are more bicycles on our Ottawa roads but I worry about the number of cycling accidents that occur each year in Ottawa. Statistics Canada reported that approximately 7,500 cyclists suffer serious personal injuries each year and that as many as 70,000 others are likely treated in hospital emergency rooms for cycling accidents and related personal injuries.

Cycling Accidents in Ottawa

We all need to do our part to reduce the number of Ottawa cycling accidents.  This means drivers need to slow down, look for cyclists and be aware that there are MANY cyclists out there on Ottawa roads and we all need to share the road.  Cyclists also need to be aware of how vulnerable they are on the roads, cycle accordingly and also follow the rules of the road.

Ottawa is a busy city with a great cycling culture. I encourage everyone who can to get out there on their bicycles as much as possible. We need to work together as drivers and cyclists to ensure a safer Ottawa for everyone. This goes for kids and adults alike. Reducing the number of Ottawa bicycle accidents is not an unrealistic goal; in fact I think it is an excellent goal for our city. We have put a lot of funding into making our bike paths and bike lanes safer for Ottawa cyclists and still, there needs to be more. Safe cycling and don’t forget to protect your head !

If you’ve been injured in a cycling accident, contact us for a free consultation or visit our website at



Do you need a lawyer to file for ODSP? Ottawa injury lawyer David Hollingsworth explains why you don’t and when you might.

The role of an Ottawa Injury Lawyer and ODSP claims

We had a question come in this week and it’s one we get regularly so I figured I would answer it here on the blog for others to see.

The question was about ODSP and does one need a lawyer to make a claim.  The answer is no. ODSP is the Ontario Disability Support Program and is a social assistance program that helps with income support and is based on your financial situation and your disability status. ODSP provides income support and  helps people with disabilities who are in financial need pay for living expenses, like food, housing and  finding a job.  ODSP also offers employment support which helps people with disabilities who can and want to work prepare and find a job.

If you qualify to receive income support, the amount you receive varies on

  • the size of your family
  • your income
  • what assets you may have
  • housing costs.

Other benefits available are:

Should you qualify for Income Support, your family may also qualify for benefits, such as:

  • drug and dental coverage
  • eye care
  • hearing aids
  • diabetic supplies
  • transportation costs to appointments
  • wheelchair/mobility devices  repairs and batteries
  • guide dog support
  • work-related expenses.

Many people believe that they need a lawyer to apply for ODSP and that is untrue.  If you have been in an accident and have a personal injury lawyer then absolutely they can help you make this claim. However the ODSP process is very straightforward you can apply for yourself. If your ODSP claim is denied and you want to appeal it , then you may want to consult with a lawyer to get the best advise possible. There are also legal aid clinics throughout Ottawa and eastern Ontario that can help with ODSP claims.  When in doubt , it never hurts to consult.

Here in Ottawa, the ODSP office is located at:

Ministry of Community and Social Services
Ontario Disability Support Program-Income Support and Employment Supports
351 Preston Street , 2nd floor

(613) 234-1188 or toll free: 1-800-267-5111  or TTY: (613) 787-3959  or Fax: (613) 783-5958


Are you part of the Ottawa community? What you can do to reduce the number of Ottawa accidents each year. Lawyer David Hollingsworth asks for your help.

Accidents at Schools

I am once again asking all drivers to think about their driving and the decisions they make behind the wheel each day. I am thrilled to share with you that the Ottawa Police are focusing on school bus and school zone safety this month in the Ottawa area. Over the last few years, 9 people suffered personal injury in 41  schools zone accidents.  These accidents were avoidable.

Another area of focus this month for Ottawa drivers will be to reduce the number of drivers making unsafe lane changes. There have been over 5500 Ottawa accidents in the last few years that were caused by unsafe lane changes. These Ottawa accidents resulted in 4 deaths and over 600 people suffering personal injuries.  Again, these are accidents that can be avoided ! Ottawa police are working hard at lowering accidents in Ottawa with the end goal of  preventing or eliminating deaths and serious personal injuries. As an Ottawa community, we all have our part in reducing the number of Ottawa accidents each year, especially school accidents. Let’s all work together.

Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers have helped many people work through their options following an accident on school property or on a school bus. Sadly, accidents at schools happen regularly and children suffer serious injuries.  You owe it to yourself and especially your child to meet with one of our personal injury lawyers experienced in child injury. We can sit down and walk you r through your options free of charge so that you can make an informed decision on how best to proceed with a child injury on school property. Our personal injury lawyers can also help you meet with some of the top medical professionals in the Ottawa area when it comes to child injuries.  Let us get your child maximum compensation and let yourself focus on your child.

Congratulations Ottawa ! Yesterday’s snowstorm resulted in 95 accidents, none with serious injuries .

Ottawa Snow Storm

Well done Ottawa.  We survived what seemed to be an incredible amount of snow fall yesterday.  It was recorded that we received close to 15 centimeters but it did feel like much more.  In Ottawa/Gatineau there were a reported 95 car accidents. Ottawa paramedics responded to 26 accident related calls but thankfully no serious injuries were reported.  I say well done. While it would have been great to avoid all accidents, in weather like yesterday’s, it is bound to happen. The fact that there were no serious injuries tells me that Ottawa drivers are driving more cautiously and adjusting their driving to the conditions of the roads . Well done Ottawa. (Maybe you all read my earlier post on safe driving in winter weather ) All kidding aside, I think this is great.

Continue to use your best driving skills as we aren’t out of the woods yet.  Ottawa roads are covered in snow and may make for challenging driving conditions. Most of all ensure you have enough space between you and the driver in front of you. Slow down and eyes on the road at all times !

Safe travels home ..and if you are like me, safe travels to your kids extra-curricular activities once you get home !


Ontario insurance accident benefits claims: Can a relative make a claim on my insurance?

Ottawa Insurance Claims Lawyers David Hollingsworth

Is everyone entitled to an insurance claim?

Yes, any person injured in an automobile accident in Ontario can make an insurance claim. This includes claim their relatives and/or dependents.

Are there any restrictions on making an insurance claim in Ontario?

There are some limitations to their insurance claim if one has broken the law during the accident in Ontario. If this is the case, they cannot receive income replacement benefits, visitors expenses, non-earner benefits, lost education expenses, expenses of visitors and the housekeeping and home maintenance benefits.

What happens if the injured does not have insurance ?

The person injured may claim these benefits from their own insurance company. If they do not have an insurance company, they can claim it at the driver at-fault’s insurance company. If none of the persons involved have insurance, the claim can be made through the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund.

Who can help me with my insurance claim?

Regardless if you have been at fault or not or have insurance or not, we can help you. There are options. We understand the stress you are going through and can help. Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers have been helping people with their insurance claims since 1999.

Contact one of our Ottawa lawyers for a free consultation and help with your Ontario accident benefits insurance claim.